Date of Graduation

5-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Michael T. Miller

Committee Member

Charles F. Robinson, II

Second Committee Member

Adam A. Morris

Keywords

Apprehension, Communication, Interethnic, Interracial, Race, Student

Abstract

Interethnic Communication Apprehension of students of color with white faculty members was studied at the University of Arkansas, a predominantly white university with predominantly white faculty. Interethnic Communication Apprehension is defined as a psychological response of fear or anxiety which causes avoidance of interaction with people from ethnic groups that are different from one's own (Neuliep & McCroskey, 1997). This study was conducted using the PRECA (Personal Report of Interethnic Communication Apprehension) measure created and validated by Neuliep and McCroskey (1997). Students of color who frequent the Center of Multicultural and Diversity Education were polled using the PRECA. Students of all categories including ethnicity, sex, and grade level reported low mean scores on Interethnic Communication Apprehension. However, significant issues of concern were articulated in open ended responses which indicate that though the construct labeled Interethnic Communication Apprehension (ICA) may be low, other areas of tension and communication dissatisfaction exist. Other variables such as Attractiveness of Majority faculty and Asymmetrical Power Dynamics between faculty and students of color should be examined.

Students expressed need for increased inclusion; culturally relevant event programming; the salience of culture with desire for improved understanding of members of different groups; communication quality, quantity and /bold>access between ethnic groups; dissatisfaction or negative experiences at the University; faculty and staff roles; and finally, sensitivity and training of faculty and students when relating to people of color.